Frequently Asked Questions


How will the Inquiry keep the public updated?

The Inquiry will publish updates on its work, including future modules and hearings dates, to its website and social media channels.

How will the Inquiry learn about the impacts of the pandemic?

The Inquiry will be commissioning its own research into the impacts of the pandemic and will also be seeking experts who will produce reports for consideration in the Inquiry’s hearings.

People can share their experience of the pandemic with the Inquiry through the Inquiry’s listening exercise, further details, as well as how to take part can be found at Every Story Matters.

Structure of the Inquiry

How will devolution impact the Inquiry?

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry will look at the handling of the pandemic in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and this includes reserved and devolved matters.

A separate Inquiry is taking place in Scotland, which will evaluate areas where policy devolved to the Scottish Government, as set out in its Terms of Reference. The UK Inquiry will work with the Scottish Inquiry to avoid duplication of evidence and findings where possible.

What is a module?

The Inquiry will be splitting its investigations into sections, or modules, which have different subject topics. This will ensure that the Inquiry’s investigations have sufficient breadth and depth. Further information on the Inquiry’s investigations can be found on this page about the structure of the Inquiry.

How many modules will there be?

The Inquiry has announced three modules so far: 1) Resilience, planning and preparedness across the UK, 2) Core political decision making, and 3) Health care system.

The Inquiry will announce further modules throughout 2023. These will likely cover both ‘system’ and ‘impact’ issues including; vaccines, care sector, procurement, test and trace, government business and financial responses across the UK; health inequalities, education, public services, public sector.

Each module will investigate issues across the UK, including in the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


When will the hearings start?

The Inquiry held its first preliminary hearing for Module 1, on 4 October 2022, evidential public hearings for this Module will begin in May 2023.

Both preliminary and public hearings will continue to be held for other Modules throughout 2023. Precise dates and times for upcoming hearings and preliminary hearings can be found on the Inquiry’s home page.

What is the difference between preliminary and public hearings?

A preliminary hearing is a procedural hearing at which decisions about the procedure for the conduct of public hearings will be made. At public hearings the Inquiry will formally hear evidence, including from witnesses under oath.

How can the public follow a preliminary hearing?

A livestream of the preliminary hearings will be available to the public on a three minute delay via the Inquiry’s YouTube channel, and uploaded after the hearings. The Inquiry will also publish a transcript of the hearing on its website.

Some preliminary hearings will be online only, while others will be available to attend in person, find out more by exploring hearings.

Where will the Module 1 evidence hearings be held?

The evidence hearings for Module 1 will take place in the Covid-19 hearing centre at Dorland House, Paddington, W2.


Can I submit evidence to the Inquiry?

The Inquiry has been formally established under the Inquiries Act (2005), and is now in the process of gathering evidence. The Inquiry will make contact with those that it requires to provide evidence.

People can share their experience of the pandemic with the Inquiry through the Inquiry’s listening exercise, further details, as well as how to take part can be found at Every Story Matters.

What is Every Story Matters?

Every Story Matters is the title for the process the Inquiry will set up to provide an opportunity for people to tell us about their experiences without the formality of giving evidence or attending a public hearing. These experiences will be collated, analysed and fed into the legal hearings via a summary report. Further details, as well as how to take part can be found at Every Story Matters.

Core Participants

What is a Core Participant?

A Core Participant is a person, institution or organisation that has a specific interest in the work of the Inquiry, and has a formal role defined by legislation. Core Participants have special rights in the Inquiry process. These include receiving documentation, being represented and making legal submissions, suggesting questions and receiving advance notice of the Inquiry’s report. You do not need to be a Core Participant to provide evidence to the Inquiry.

Can I be a Core Participant?

The Inquiry will open different modules for individuals to apply to be Core Participants throughout its lifetime. More information on how to apply to be a Core Participant can be found in the Core Participant Protocol.